Baptism (Water & Spirit)
The word baptism comes from the Greek word “baptizo” which essentially means “to immerse or dip in water,” but does not mean to be sprinkled with water. The descriptions in the New Testament suggest that people went down into the water to be fully immersed, rather than having water poured upon or sprinkled on them. An example of this is found in Acts 8:38, “And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.”
Water Baptism in the Name of the Lord Jesus
It is imperative that you understand the proper method for baptism. Trinitarian churches use Matthew 28:19 as the justification for baptizing in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world” (Matthew 28:19-20). However, this is incorrect according to scripture. On the day of Pentecost, declaring the plan of salvation, Peter stated: “… Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” (Acts 2:38). This command may seem to contradict Matthew 28:19 until further investigation of the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.
A name is defined as “a word or set of words by which a person, animal, place, or thing is known, addressed, or referred to.” Examples include: Tom, tiger and Johnny. A man can be a father, while also being a son – which both describe his title and function in those positions. “Father,” “Son” and “Holy Ghost” are all titles, but not names. Jesus is the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
“I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive” (John 5:43).
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).
“And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).
“And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Acts 2:21).
“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11).
“And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him” (Colossians 3:17).
The Holy Ghost
“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you” (John 14:26).
While some focus on Matthew 28:19 regarding protocols for baptism, they overlook Matthew 28:20, which says, “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” This is extremely important because the Apostles started the church and taught the gospel as well as what Jesus commanded. Nowhere in scripture was this formula used in baptisms, but rather all were baptized in the name of Jesus. The Apostles taught what Jesus commanded; had they not, it would have been disobedience. The book of Acts describes the birth of the church. That book of the Bible is called “The Acts of the Apostles,” or the Acts of the Holy Ghost thru the Apostles. Acts 4:12 declares, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”
Acts 8:15-16 reads, “Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)” They were baptized and had not yet received the Holy Ghost. The Gentiles were baptized after receiving the Holy Ghost. Acts 10:47-48 states, “Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.”
The Ephesians were baptized in the name of Jesus according to Acts 19:1-5, which says:
And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
The Apostle Paul was baptized in the name of Jesus according to Acts 22:16, “And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.”
Baptism is a representation of our burial with Christ. Romans 6:3-6 expounds:
Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
Baptism of the Holy Ghost (Holy Spirit)
The Baptism of the Holy Ghost is the birth of the Spirit according to John 3:5. This spiritual baptism is necessary for entrance into the kingdom of God. The kingdom is God’s church and the bride of Christ. It is evidenced by speaking in tongues or other languages, as the Spirit of God gives utterance. Scripture foretold the coming of the Holy Ghost from the Old Testament to the New Testament. It was prophesied in Joel 2:28-29 and Isaiah 28:11, that the Spirit would come. It was also foretold by John the Baptist in Matthew 3:11. We have been purchased by the blood of Jesus and promised the Holy Spirit according to John 14:26 and 15:26.
The Holy Ghost was poured out on the day of Pentecost on the Jews first (Acts 2:1-4), then on the Samaritans (Acts 8:17), and later on the Gentiles (Acts 10:44-46, 19:6). The promise is to all those that believe and receive Christ. Acts 2:39
Speaking in Tongues (Other Language)
“Speaking in tongues” means speaking miraculously in a language unknown to the speaker as the Spirit of God gives utterance. Tongues can be classified in two ways – according to function:
1. Speaking in other tongues is the initial evidence of the baptism of the Holy Ghost. It is the manifestation God has given as the definite, indisputable supernatural witness or sign of the baptism of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:4, 10:46, 19:6).
2. Speaking in tongues was also prophesied by the Prophet Isaiah as “the rest and refreshing” of the believer (Isaiah 28:11-12). Foretold by Jesus as a sign that would follow believers of the gospel (Mark 16:17), speaking in tongues is experienced by Jews and Gentile alike.
The Gift of Tongues
The gift of diverse kinds of tongues was mentioned by the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 12:1-10. He provided guidelines for operation in 1st Corinthians 14:1-40, for both self-edification (1 Corinthians 14:4) and for the edification of the church (1 Corinthians 14: 27-28).
In church meetings or services, the gift of tongues is used to give a public message and needs to be interpreted. Since this gift can be misused in public, it needs proper regulation according to 1 Corinthians 14:23-28. Not all believers exercise the gift of tongues, which is different in function from tongues given by God as the initial witness of the baptism of the Holy Ghost.
Paul said in 1 Corinthians 14:39, “Forbid not to speak in tongues.” He explains, “I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all” (1 Corinthians 14:18). Since this was the Apostle Paul’s teaching, we dare not teach or preach to the contrary.